Robber fly - Nature photographer Thomas Shahan specializes in amazing portraits of tiny insects. It isn't easy. Shahan says that this Robber Fly (Holcocephala fusca), for instance, is "skittish" and doesn't like its picture taken.

Eye-popping bug photos

Nature by Numbers (Video)

"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -
"The Quantum Factor" – Apr 10, 2011 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Galaxies, Universe, Intelligent design, Benevolent design, Aliens, Nikola Tesla (Quantum energy), Inter-Planetary Travel, DNA, Genes, Stem Cells, Cells, Rejuvenation, Shift of Human Consciousness, Spontaneous Remission, Religion, Dictators, Africa, China, Nuclear Power, Sustainable Development, Animals, Global Unity.. etc.) - (Text Version)

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."

(Live Kryon Channelings was given 7 times within the United Nations building.)

"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)

"Recalibration of Free Choice"– Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) - (Subjects: (Old) Souls, Midpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Loose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth, 4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Paddle wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 – Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical) 8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.) - (Text version)

“… 4 - Energy (again)

The natural resources of the planet are finite and will not support the continuation of what you've been doing. We've been saying this for a decade. Watch for increased science and increased funding for alternate ways of creating electricity (finally). Watch for the very companies who have the most to lose being the ones who fund it. It is the beginning of a full realization that a change of thinking is at hand. You can take things from Gaia that are energy, instead of physical resources. We speak yet again about geothermal, about tidal, about wind. Again, we plead with you not to over-engineer this. For one of the things that Human Beings do in a technological age is to over-engineer simple things. Look at nuclear - the most over-engineered and expensive steam engine in existence!

Your current ideas of capturing energy from tidal and wave motion don't have to be technical marvels. Think paddle wheel on a pier with waves, which will create energy in both directions [waves coming and going] tied to a generator that can power dozens of neighborhoods, not full cities. Think simple and decentralize the idea of utilities. The same goes for wind and geothermal. Think of utilities for groups of homes in a cluster. You won't have a grid failure if there is no grid. This is the way of the future, and you'll be more inclined to have it sooner than later if you do this, and it won't cost as much….”

"Fast-Tracking" - Feb 8, 2014 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - (Reference to Fukushima / H-bomb nuclear pollution and a warning about nuclear > 20 Min)

Obama unveils landmark regulations to combat climate change

Obama unveils landmark regulations to combat climate change
In a bid to combat climate change, US President Barack Obama announced the Clean Power Plan on Monday, marking the first time power plants have been targeted by mandatory regulations on carbon dioxide emissions in the US.
Google: Earthday 2013

Thursday, January 31, 2013

China's farmers breaking boundaries with internet shopping

Want China Times, Xinhua 2013-01-31

A farmer in Shandong takes photos of cabbages for his online store.

A farmer shows off his online produce
store. (Photo/Xinhua
Housewife Wang Sijia has been busy picking out food for the coming Spring Festival holiday, sourcing peanuts, chicken, dates and other goodies from regions around the country.

But Wang hasn't had to travel a single mile to purchase her goods. In fact, she hasn't even had to leave her bedroom.

"With a single click of the mouse, specialty foods from around China can be put in my online shopping basket. Most importantly, they are authentic, organic and quality-ensured," the Beijing native said with a smile.

Hundreds of miles away in the village of Zhangjiagou in north China's Shanxi province, farmer Wang Xiaobang is smiling too. Sales at his online farm produce shop have been soaring, with the number of transactions reaching 200 per day.

Wang opened his online shop in 2008 after working as a migrant worker in Beijing for six years. With monthly net profits of 80,000 yuan (US$13,000), Wang has become a successful online farm produce vendor.

"I didn't expect agricultural products to sell so well online. I just wanted to bring fresh produce grown by our villagers to more customers," said the 36-year-old Wang. "Now I am convinced that the online market is really huge and the internet can play a big role in the countryside."


The story of the two Wangs is just one example of China's booming online farm produce market. More and more urbanites are shopping for groceries online to ensure a healthy diet.

A report released by the Alibaba Group in January revealed that sales of agricultural products on Taobao and Tmall, the country's biggest online retail stores, totaled 19.8 billion yuan (US$3.14 billion) in 2012. An average of 20,000 Chinese families buy farm produce online everyday.

Tea is the most popular item, according to the report, with daily trade exceeding 7 million yuan (US$1.1 million). Tea is followed in popularity by dates, nuts and honey products. Fresh fruit and seafood have registered the fastest growth, with annual sales quadrupling last year.

The number of farmers who have chosen to hawk their products online has grown as well, with 1.71 million online farm produce vendors by the end of 2011, according to a report from the Information Research Center at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

"This is a win-win situation, both for customers and farmers," said China E-Commerce Research Center analyst Zhang Zhouping. "On the one hand, it can satisfy urban consumers' desire to eat safely and healthily; on the other hand, it can further promote the use of technology in rural areas and increase farmers' incomes."

A series of food safety scandals that have shattered consumer confidence have made it difficult for consumers to trust street vendors or even established brands.

"Online shopping can actually increase transparency and mutual trust," said Wang Sijia. "You can tell where and how the products are made through online videos, pictures and farm licenses posted by the farmers themselves, all of which are unavailable when purchasing through traditional means."

The direct link between buyers and producers also helps both sides get rid of intermediary surcharges, which have pushed up food prices while gobbling up the bulk of farmers' profits, she added.


The surge in the number of online customers has changed the lifestyles of farmers and sped up the application of modern technology in rural areas. For years, Chinese farmers drove their three-wheeled vehicles to sell produce in outdoor markets. Now, they take to their computer keyboards to sell their wares.

"Farmers used to be vulnerable to market forces, since information was controlled by agricultural traders in big companies. Through e-commerce, farmers can have direct access to information and a wide channel to sell their products. This business mode is the basis of modern Chinese agriculture," said Wang Xiangdong, director of the Research Center of Information at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

After internet access was made available in his village, Wang Xiaobang learned how to open his own online shop, create photo feeds for customers and cooperate with express delivery companies to transport fresh produce. He also trained local villagers to help him expand his online business.

The village of Qingyanliu in the coastal city of Yiwu is home to many farmers like Wang Xiaobang. Known as China's "biggest e-commerce village," the area is home to nearly 2,000 online shops and about 20 express delivery companies that transport goods across the country.

The online trading boom in Qingyanliu has also attracted many migrant workers, who have learned about e-commerce in big cities in order to return home and ride the online wave.

"The local government needs to further improve information technology infrastructure in rural areas to encourage the sustainable development of rural e-commerce while providing more internet training courses for farmers," suggested Wang Xiangdong.

"As more urbanites benefit from purchasing agricultural products across the country, farmers are also benefiting from accessing information through e-commerce like city dwellers," he said.

Related Article:

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cell scientists aim to rebuild hearts with reprogrammed tissue

Researchers in Oxford and California experiment with medical technology that could make transplants unnecessary

The Guardian, Alok Jha, science correspondent, Monday 28 January 2013

Embryonic cells under the microscope. Scientists on both sides of the Atlantic
 are working on ways of adapting cells to help repair damage from heart attack.
Photograph: Mauricio Lima/AFP/Getty Images

Every two minutes someone in the UK has a heart attack. Every six minutes, someone dies from heart failure. During an attack, the heart remodels itself and dilates around the site of the injury to try to compensate, but these repairs are rarely effective. If the attack does not kill you, heart failure later frequently will.

"No matter what other clinical interventions are available, heart transplantation is the only genuine cure for this," says Paul Riley, professor of regenerative medicine at Oxford University. "The problem is there is a dearth of heart donors."

Transplants have their own problems – successful operations require patients to remain on toxic, immune-suppressing drugs for life and their subsequent life expectancies are not usually longer than 20 years.

The solution, emerging from the laboratories of several groups of scientists around the world, is to work out how to rebuild damaged hearts. Their weapons of choice are reprogrammed stem cells.

These researchers have rejected the more traditional path of cell therapy that you may have read about over the past decade of hope around stem cells – the idea that stem cells could be used to create batches of functioning tissue (heart or brain or whatever else) for transplant into the damaged part of the body. Instead, these scientists are trying to understand what the chemical and genetic switches are that turn something into a heart cell or muscle cell. Using that information, they hope to programme cells at will, and help the body make repairs.

It is an exciting time for a technology that no one thought possible a few years ago. In 2007, Shinya Yamanaka showed it was possible to turn adult skin cells into embryonic-like stem cells, called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), using just a few chemical factors. His technique radically advanced stem cell biology, sweeping aside years of blockages due to the ethical objections about using stem cells from embryos. He won the Nobel prize in physiology or medicine for his work in October. Researchers have taken this a step further – directly turning one mature cell type to another without going through a stem cell phase.

And politicians are taking notice. At the Royal Society in November, in his first major speech on the Treasury's ambitions for science and technology, the chancellor, George Osborne, identified regenerative medicine as one of eight areas of technology in which he wanted the UK to become a world leader. Earlier last year, the Lords science and technology committee launched an inquiry into the potential of regenerative medicine in the UK – not only the science but what regulatory obstacles there might be to turning the knowledge into medical applications.

At Oxford, Riley has spent almost a year setting up a £2.5m lab, funded as part of the British Heart Foundation's Mending Broken Hearts appeal, to work out how to get heart muscle to repair itself. The idea is to expand the scope of the work that got Riley into the headlines last year after a high-profile paper published in the journal Nature in which he showed a means of repairing cells damaged during a heart attack in mice. That work involved in effect turning the clock back in a layer of cells on the outside of the heart, called the epicardium, making adult cells think they were embryos again and thereby restarting their ability to repair.

During the development of the embryo, the epicardium turns into the many types of cells seen in the heart and surrounding blood vessels. After the baby is born this layer of cells loses its ability to transform. By infusing the epicardium with the protein thymosin β4 (Tβ4), Riley's team found the once-dormant layer of cells was able to produce new, functioning heart cells. Overall, the treatment led to a 25% improvement in the mouse heart's ability to pump blood after a month compared with mice that had not received the treatment.

Riley says finding ways to replace damaged cells via transplantation, the dominant research idea for more than a decade, has faltered. Scientists have tried out a variety of adult stem cells – derived from areas such as bone marrow, muscle and fat – turned them into heart cells and transplanted them into animal models, which initially showed good results.

But those results could never be repeated in humans with the same degree of success. "In humans, moving into clinical trials, the actual benefit, from a meta-analysis just on bone-marrow-derived cells, is a meagre 3% improvement," he says. "That's barely detectable clinically and unfortunately isn't going to make a vast amount of difference to your overall quality of life."

The original impression from rodent studies was that the transplanted cells would become new muscle and contribute to improving damaged areas, but Riley says that idea has fallen out of favour. "All they do, if anything at all, is to secrete factors that will help the heart sustain the injury, rather than necessarily offer long-term regeneration."

That is where the reprogrammers get going. Find the chemical factors that will make a cell (a skin cell, say, or a piece of scar tissue) think it is in the womb, so it switches certain genes on and others off and becomes a new heart cell, and you can avoid the large-scale transplant altogether. All you need is an infusion of the right drugs and resident cells will do all the required repair work.

The process requires an understanding of how an embryo develops and what cues nature uses to grow all the body's cell types from just a sperm and an egg. This ability to regenerate does not quite stop at birth: injure a one-day-old mouse's heart, for example, and it will completely regenerate. Injure it again after a week and the heart will scar. "Within seven days, it goes from completely repairable to the adult wound-healing default position," says Riley. "We want to understand what happens during that window."

Many scientists believe the secrets of how to regenerate tissue are linked with an understanding of how to reverse the ageing process. Saul Villeda, of the University of California, San Francisco, presented work at the recent annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in New Orleans where he showed that blood from young mice reversed some of the effects of ageing in older mice, improving learning and memory to a level comparable with much younger animals. Older mice had an increased number of stem cells in their brains and there was a 20% increase in connections between brain cells.

Though his work is yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, Villeda speculated the young blood was likely to be working in the older mice by increasing levels of chemical factors that tend to decline as animals get older. Bring these back, he says, and "all of a sudden you have all of these plasticity and learning and memory-related genes that are coming back".

At the Gladstone Institute in California, Prof Deepak Srivastava has already transformed scar-forming cardiac cells in mice into beating heart cells, inside living animals, using a set of chemical factors. His results were published last April in Nature.

"We've redeployed nature's own toolkit in these cells to convert non-muscle cells that are in the heart into new muscle. More than half of the cells in the heart are not muscle [but] architectural cells called fibroblasts that are meant to support the muscle," he says.

"We had the idea that if we could somehow fool those cells into thinking that they should become muscle, then we have a vast reservoir of cells that already exist within the organ that might be able to be called upon to regenerate the heart from within."

He injected three chemical factors – called Gata4, Mef2c and Tbx5, collectively known as GMT – into the damaged region of a heart and, within a month, the non-beating cells that normally ended up becoming scar tissue had become functioning heart cells that had integrated with their neighbours. "The factors get taken up by the fibroblasts and the non-muscle population of cells and they initiate a genome-wide switch of the programme of the cells so that it now begins to activate thousands of muscle-specific genes and it turns off thousands of fibroblast genes."

Srivastava directs cardiovascular and stem cell research at Gladstone, the institute where Yamanaka carried out his Nobel-prize-winning work. Srivastava's direct reprogramming technique takes Yamanaka's work further because it allows scientists to turn one type of cell into another without having to go through a stem cell phase in between, thus reducing the risk that any future therapy might induce cancer.

The method has been proven to work, so far only in Petri dishes, for blood, liver and brain cells. "Ultimately, as we learn enough about each cell type, it's likely we might be able to make most cell types in the body with this direct reprogramming approach," he says.

The tough task for all these scientists – from those working specifically on the heart such as Riley to those working more generally on all cell types such as Srivastava – is to identify and catalogue the thousands of chemical factors that are at work in the various stages of cell development, and that are the keys to the transformation of one cell into another. Riley's team is working with Shoumo Bhattacharya at the BHF Centre for Cardiovascular Target Discovery at Oxford, led by Shoumo Bhattacharya, to screen thousands of small molecules in the lab that could, in combination or isolation, predict a certain type of cell behaviour in a living heart.

Meanwhile, the Gladstone team have started experimenting with their direct reprogramming technique in pigs, as a preclinical trial before trying it out in humans. "We're trying to do the same experiments we did in the heart in the pig's heart because it is very similar in size and physiology to human hearts. If it works there and it is safe, then we'd be ready for a human clinical trial," says Srivastava.

He has not entirely abandoned investigating cell transplantation, using muscle cells derived from embryonic stem cells. But he is clear which would make the simpler therapy.

"We're testing both head to head – let's say both works, then I think the direct reprogramming method will be a lot easier."

And the relative simplicity of direct reprogramming, discovered by Yamanaka just five years ago, still surprises him. "It's phenomenal," he says. "We never thought it would be this way."

"The Quantum Factor" – Apr 10, 2011 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Galaxies, Universe, Intelligent design, Benevolent design, Aliens, Nikola Tesla (Quantum energy), Inter-Planetary Travel, DNA, Genes, Stem Cells, Cells, Rejuvenation, Shift of Human Consciousness, Spontaneous Remission, Religion, Dictators, Africa, China, Nuclear Power, Sustainable Development, Animals, Global Unity.. etc.) - (Text Version)

"..... Cell Division - a Static process ? 

Let me take you to the cellular division process. We've said this before, but you need to hear this to understand how it works. A cell is ready to divide. The Human body is designed to rejuvenate... all tissue. You've been told that there's some tissue that does not rejuvenate, but that is incorrect. It all rejuvenates at different speeds at different times and in different ways. It rejuvenates. So now you know that the Human body is designed to live a long time. Unfortunately, the energy that you have created on this planet and what you've gone through, has beat it up. You don't live much more than 80 years. That was not the design.

The Biblical personalities were sometimes prophets and sometimes masters and sometimes just there... and lived for hundreds of years. Did they really? Or perhaps this is that just a metaphor? Did they get that right in the Bible without a error in transcription? I'm going to tell you the truth. It's very accurate. Thousands of years ago you lived a very long time, Lemurian. If you knew your lifespan, you'd gasp. But not anymore. Instructions have been given over time to DNA, literally, by the energy of the planet... en energy that you have created through consciousness.

A cell divides. Right before it divides, it needs the blueprint to clone itself. The blueprint is available from the stem cell. The stem cell gets its information from the quantum part of the DNA, which has never changed since you were born. It's remained static, since nothing has ever changed it... and the fact that you don't believe it's changeable and have just accepted aging. There's not a conscious effort to do anything with it, and it just lays there like it always did.

The diving cell "talks" to the stem cell and says, "Do the same thing you always did? Change anything?" And the stem cell talks to the cell that is dividing, saying, "Make another one just the same." Then you rejuvenate just like the last one, accepting everything you received when you were born. ..."

"Recalibration of Knowledge" – Jan 14, 2012 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: Channelling, God-Creator, Benevolent Design, New Energy, Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) SoulsReincarnation, Gaia, Old Energies (Africa,Terrorists, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela ... ), Weather, Rejuvenation, Akash, Nicolas Tesla / Einstein, Cold Fusion, Magnetics, Lemuria, Atomic Structure (Electrons, Particles, Polarity, Self Balancing, Magnetism, Higgs Boson), Entanglement, "Life is necessary for a Universe to exist and not the other way around"DNA, Humans (Baby getting ready, First Breath, Stem Cells, Embryonic Stem Cells, Rejuvenation), Global Unity, ... etc.) - (Text Version)

”… There are several things that are going to happen in mainstream science. First, you're going to find some secrets of DNA and they're going to be embryonic. Start watching scientists discover the embryonic cells and the magic within them. You already know that unusual stem cells exist in the placenta. You also know that the pre-programmed adult stem cells are still there in the body. But what about the DNA of the unborn? (Intellectuals, please keep reading, for to stop now will create unrest.) Second, your work today Yawee, will represent "the perfect template" without using what you did in Lemuria. That's why you're the Human who will do this. It's an extension of why you came here, and is perfect for 2012 and beyond.

These embryonic cells of the unborn are untouchable by society, and they might as well be on Mars, for no science is going to try to use these cells in a 3D manner, which is all you know how to do at this point. If they try, it won't work anyway. There are quantum processes you are learning about that are not only non-invasive, but actually helpful and that can transfer attributes from one biological cell to another and from one Human to another. Think "wireless" [Kryon human again]. What you thought would take wires over 1,000 miles long is now done with satellites. It's an analogy that shows you that you are moving into totally new understandings of the transfer of energy. Let's discuss the mother in that temple for a moment. …”

"... I want to define life for you - not biological life, but spiritual life. So for all those intellectuals, just hold on, for many won't like this. Spiritual life, as measured by Spirit, is when a Human has free choice. When is that? It's when they take their first breath. Not in utero. There will be those who will say, "That's wrong, that's wrong. The soul in the woman's body is alive!" Just wait. I'm talking about spiritually. That which Spirit sees, and it's when you come from the other side of the veil and take your first breath.

A child with the mother has no free choice. That child is linked to the choice of the mother until it is born. It is, indeed, a soul in preparation for free choice, and there are many attributes that are spiritual that we have discussed before about how that soul reacts. But now I'm discussing life with polarity [duality], free choice.

But let's discuss that "child inside" for a moment, for there is a process I want you to know about. I want to talk about 240 days into the pregnancy. At about that time, the child has perfect DNA. It hasn't taken its first breath. The DNA hasn't measured the energy of the planet yet, since it is contained. Did you realize that? Inside the womb is a perfect child. The child's DNA has all the attributes of the Akash and also the parent, but it's different in a way you have not been told. The DNA is 100% as designed.

The quantum instructions within the DNA are all talking to the biology of the child,, getting ready for the first breath. ..."

Monday, January 28, 2013

Video captured of dolphin rescue off Kona

Diver: "There was no question this dolphin was there for help", Jan 18, 2013

HONOLULU —An amazing video was captured Friday night of a dolphin reaching out to a human for help.

It happened during a manta ray dive experience off the Big Island's Kona International Airport.

The group of snorkelers and divers heard a loud squeal and a bottlenose dolphin swam right into the dive spot.

As it approached, diver Keller Laros saw it had a fishing line wrapped around its pectoral fin.

The amazing part of this video -- to watch as this dolphin simply rolls over and patiently lets Laros get to work.

"i was trying to unwrap it, I got the line fishing hook out of the pectoral fin.  There was a line coming out of his mouth.  But, the line wrapped around his pectoral fin.  Was so tight and he had cuts both front and aft," said Laros.  "I was worried if I tugged on it, it might hurt him more.  I was able to cut the fishing line and unwrap it."

Laros got the fishing hook out and snipped the fishing line by the dolphin's mouth.

Others tried to get more fishing line out but the dolphin swam away and the group never saw the dolphin again.

"I've had bottlenose dolphins approach me a lot of times and they are really smart animals," said Laros.  "They way he came right up and pushed himself into me there was no question this dolphin was there for help."

Related Articles:

Dolphin rescue caught on underwater camera


Dolphins try to save dying companion - New

Dolphin Assisted Fishing (Video)

The Animals are Not Waiting for Us

Cross-species friendships are springing up all over. Of them, Matthew said in 2010:

“The innocence of animals, who act from instinct, never from malice, automatically qualifies all except a few species to ascend with Earth. Along the way those who now are wild will become tame, predators will become vegetarians, and all will live peaceably with each other and humankind. Already there is evidence of cross-species friendship, even mothers of one species nurturing infants of another, and instances of bonding between wild animals and humans.”  (Matthew message - Channelled by Suzanne Ward, Aug 13, 2010)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Mounting pollution in China boosts investment in air purifiers

Want China Times, Staff Reporter 2013-01-26

A man outside Beijing's National Stadium does his best to avoid
inhaling fine particles. (Photo/Xinhua)

The investment market for firms in China offering technology to reducing air pollution is attracting a lot of attention after smog blanketed Beijing earlier this month.

Private equity firms are seeking opportunities to invest in clean technology firms, as businesses and consumers are more willing to purchase such devices given their concern over serious air pollution.

"We have been investing in the clean technology in the past, and now we are focusing on the possibility of investing in firms that develop technologies for monitoring and managing air quality," said Zhang Lihui, a partner with venture capital management firm Tsing Capital.

According to the Chinese-language Economic Observer, air pollution readings showed that half of the country's 74 largest cities have terrible air quality.

Beijing touched nearly 900 on the particularly hazardous PM2.5 (particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers) index of air quality, indicating the existence of dust, coal fumes, car exhaust and chemical compounds, such as secondary sulfates and nitrates, in the air.

Face masks sold out across the capital, while indoor air purifiers continue to gain popularity.

The market for large air cleaners is developing, although they cost over 10,000 yuan (US$1,600), said an investor from the environmental protection industry.

Lei Yang, managing director of Northern Light Venture Capital, said his company was evaluating opportunities for investing in an air purifier business called Beiang Technology which can help remove inhaleable particles as small as 20 nanometers.

Beiang, which is still in the early stages of technology development, is targeting air cleaners for domestic use. It plans to expand operations by providing solutions for other firms in the future.

For investors in the industry, the market for such devices is highly competitive as many international firms with considerable resources have launched various related products. As a result, it is not easy to find firms which have reached a certain scale and are worth investing in.

Fundraising in the environmental protection and energy saving industry has also grown gradually over the years. Starting from 2007, it touched a record high of US$1.42 billion in 2009, according to the Economic Observer.

In 2011, CDH China Management spent US$258 million to take over the Singapore stock exchange-listed Sinomem Technology, while US global private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co invested US$114 million in Singapore's United Envirotech, which helped boost the market.

A total of 27 fundraising instances were reported in 2012, down 43.8% from the previous year, according to CVSource from ChinaVenture Investment Consulting Group.

The value of fundraising was pegged at US$359 million last year, representing a fall of 52.2% from 2011. The lowest levels of fundraising were recorded during the last four years.

"The new energy sector was the major contributor to the market slow down, the environmental protection industry remained unchanged and has better market potential," Chang said.

According to a report of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party, developing the country's environmental protection industry will be a key policy in 2013.

Around 620 billion yuan (US$100 billion) will be earmarked for this during the 12th five-year plan period, with the largest amount of over 120 billion yuan (US$19.3 billion) invested in reducing industrial pollution, according to UBS, a Swiss global financial services company.

Star Trek style 'tractor beam' created by scientists

BBC News, 25 January 2013

Related Stories 

The 'tractor beam' is hoped to have
medical applications
A real-life "tractor beam", which uses light to attract objects, has been developed by scientists.

It is hoped it could have medical applications by targeting and attracting individual cells.

The research, published in Nature Photonics and led by the University of St Andrews, is limited to moving microscopic particles.

In science fiction programmes such as Star Trek, tractor beams are used to move much more massive objects.

It is not the first time science has aimed to replicate the feat - albeit at smaller scales.

In 2011, researchers from China and Hong Kong showed how it might be done with laser beams of a specific shape - and the US space agency Nasa has even funded a study to examine how the technique might help with manipulating samples in space.

The new study's lead researcher Dr Tomas Cizmar, research fellow in the School of Medicine at the University of St Andrews, said while the technique is very new, it had huge potential.

He said: "The practical applications could be very great, very exciting. The tractor beam is very selective in the properties of the particles it acts on, so you could pick up specific particles in a mixture."

"Eventually this could be used to separate white blood cells, for example."

Usually when microscopic objects are hit by a beam of light, they are forced along the direction of the beam by the light photons. That radiation force was first identified by the German astronomer Johannes Kepler in 1619 when he observed that tails of comets always point away from the Sun.

Dr Cizmar's team's technique allows for that force to be reversed which he said some people might find counter-intuitive.

"It's surprising," he said. "Only when we looked in detail at the process did we see the reversal. It's quite a narrow field it occurs at."

'Exciting time'

The team at the University of St Andrews worked with colleagues at the Institute of Scientific Instruments (ISI) in the Czech Republic.

Prof Zemanek, from the ISI, said: "The whole team have spent a number of years investigating various configurations of particles delivery by light. I am proud our results were recognised in this very competitive environment and I am looking forward to new experiments and applications. It is a very exciting time."

Scotty was Star Trek's engineer
Practical scientific theories on real-life tractor beams have been developed since 1960, but it is thought this is the first time a beam has been used to draw microscopic objects towards the light source.

Scientists have previously used a technique called an optical vortex to move individual particles using beams of light, but this new approach works in liquids and a vacuum.

The first appearance of a tractor beam in fiction is thought to have been in the American author EE Smith's story The Skylark of Space, which was serialised in 1928. The story contained references to an "attractor beam".

It has been a staple plot device in science fiction television and movies allowing objects like space ships to be trapped in a beam of light, but Dr Cizmar said this particular technique would not eventually lead to that.

He said: "Unfortunately there is a transfer of energy. On a microscopic scale that is OK, but on a macro scale it would cause huge problems.

"It would result in a massive amount of heating of an object, like a space shuttle. So trapping a space ship is out of the question."

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"THE NEXT 18 YEARS"–  Dec 2, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) (Subjects: You are looking  at a Quantum event, clearing a filter - Portal pineal , Higher self to step forward and communicate to You, Still remains in 3D but exposure to multi dimensions, Evolution of humanity, Intent, Mayan Calendar, Midpoint on 21-12-2012, 26.000 Years, Milky Way, Nostradamus, 1987, Beginning to a New Time, Channellers/Teachers, Center of Galaxy – Black hole, Bridge of Swords, Pleiadians, Children, Inventions – The discoveries (e.g. : Airplanes - Medicines – Radio ...): These new Discoveries were given all over the planet when Human consciousness was ready for it, New Inventions are coming, the timing depends on how the middle East problems are solved, Biology reaction of quantum energy; new radio of the future, seeing quantum energy, when it is revealed all science books will have to be rewritten, This will be an AHA moment – be possible to communicate with the rest of Galaxy, NASA, Church/religion will be effected the most by these discoveries, The quantum discovery will see the grid, life, gardens and will redefine life, DNA (3 billion pieces) evolving piece DNA are chancing, Gaia/Humanity are linked, new instruments will start to reveal the DNA variance, Evolution revealed: Autistic children have born with the removal of their 3D structure in the brain, Gaia/Spirit are testing these quantum beings  (Evolved DNA), Universe central clock = Rifs,  Globally there will be only 5 currencies, Wars on earth will be declared barbaric, Middle East, Global Unity, .. etc.)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Dog evolved 'on the waste dump'

BBC News, Jonathan Amos, Science correspondent, 23 January 2013

Related Stories

Wolves that coped best with cereals
 in their diet may be part of the
story of domestication
Anyone who owns a dog knows that it will rummage around in the kitchen bin looking for food, given half a chance.

But this annoying behaviour may have a more profound undercurrent than we realise, according to scientists.

A new study of dog genetics reveals numerous genes involved in starch metabolism, compared with wolves.

It backs an idea that some dogs emerged from wolves that were able to scavenge and digest the food waste of early farmers, the team tells Nature journal.

No-one knows precisely when or how our ancestors became so intimately connected with dogs, but the archaeological evidence indicates it was many thousands of years ago.

One suggestion is that the modern mutt emerged from ancient hunter-gatherers' use of wolves as hunting companions or guards.

But another opinion holds that domestication started with wolves that stole our food leftovers and eventually came to live permanently around humans as a result.

"This second hypothesis says that when we settled down, and in conjunction with the development of agriculture, we produced waste dumps around our settlements; and suddenly there was this new food resource, a new niche, for wolves to make use of, and the wolf that was best able to make use of it became the ancestor of the dog," explained Erik Axelsson from Uppsala University.

"So, we think our findings fit well with this theory that the dog evolved on the waste dump," he told BBC News.

'Generic' dog

Dr Axelsson and colleagues examined the DNA of more than 50 modern dogs from breeds as diverse as the cocker spaniel and the German shepherd. They then compared their generic genetic information with those of 12 wolves taken from across the world.

The Swedish-US team scanned the DNA sequences of the two types of canid for regions of major difference. These would be locations likely to contain genes important in the rise of the domesticated dog.

Axelsson's group identified 36 such regions, carrying a little over a hundred genes. The analysis detected the presence of two major functional categories - genes involved in brain development and starch metabolism.

In the case of the latter, it seems dogs have many more genes that encode the enzymes needed to break down starch, something that would have been advantageous in an ancestor scavenging on the discarded wheat and other crop products of early farmers.

Domestication may have forced dogs
into a permanent state of puppyhood
"Wolves also have these genes but they don't use them as efficiently as dogs," said Dr Axelsson.

"When we look at the wolf genome, we only see one copy of the gene [for the amylase enzyme] on each chromosome. When we look at the dog genome, we see a range from two to 15 copies; and on average a dog carries seven copies more than the wolf.

"That means the dog is a lot more efficient at making use of the nutrition in starch than the wolf."

As far as the brain development genes are concerned, these probably reflect some of the behavioural differences we now see in the two canids.

The dog is a much more docile creature, the likely consequence of early humans preferentially working with animals they found easier to tame.

"Previous experiments have indicated that when you select for a reduction in aggressiveness, you obviously get a tamer animal but you also get an animal that retains juvenile characteristics much longer during development, sometimes into adulthood," said Dr Axelsson.

This might go some way to explaining the oft-repeated observation that dogs are permanently stuck in a kind of puppyhood.

Open debate

The study of the origin of dogs remains, in many ways, a puzzling field.

Fossil evidence suggests some populations could have been around tens of thousands of years ago, long before the emergence of agriculture. Some researchers have tried to use the regular rate at which error patterns appear in dog DNA as a kind clock to time their rise, but this has produced contradictory results.

One confounding issue might be that domestication happened more than once.

Dr Carles Vila, from the Conservation and Evolutionary Genetics Group at the Donana Biological Station in Seville, Spain, said the debate was wide open.

"I think that modern dogs derived from multiple wolf populations," he observed.

"It could be that dog domestication started once with some animals staying with humans which were then regularly back-crossed with wolves and that could have the same effect. But there could have been completely independent domestications. What is clear is that the number of bone remains is very rare more than 14,000 years ago."

“… The dog has a very faithful nature to those whom it considers it's family. Many times the dog will energetically take negative energy from your energy field. Of course if there is a lot of negative energy the dog can and will become ill, and sometimes even cross due to the great amount of negative energy it has "taken" from you. Many animals work on an energetic level, particularly the domestic dog and cat.

Those animals who remain in their native state, what you would term wild animals, do evolve, yet at a slower rate. Their consciousness is not as developed, so their focus is on survival and caring for their young. ….”

"... Certain breeds of what may be termed house cats and dogs, are indeed uniquely designed derivations of the Starseed Felidae. They perform specific roles in assisting humans. The 'house' versions of cats & domestic dogs are genetically engineered from the Golden Age of Atlantis.

The genetic engineering was benevolently done by the Sirian - Pleiadean Alliance and is an extremely helpful action, as stated to assist humanity as they became more densely ingrained in the Earth-Plane.

Now, what you term as canine and feline are of the same source, both are derivations of the Starseed Felidae. Cats and dogs are different physical forms of the same source.The Felidae of Sirius A are a fully conscious crystalline being. They have melded into a group unity consciousness, yet still retain aspectual individual identities with the greater harmonic field. The Group Field chooses to assist humanity in your Universe and others.

Cats & Dogs

Both cats and dogs in this derivation are serving as benevolent energy giving assistants to humans, to their caretakers. Both have the capacity to meld their energy fields with the human and are uniquely capable of becoming personality fragments of their human caretakers. That is why certain of these can often begin to display the physical characteristics of their 'owners', although this particular aspect occurs more commonly with the canine.

The canine exudes an extreme loyalty and unconditional love. A dedication that energetically is received by the human, and can assist in many ways. The dogs ( and cats) become both companions , healers and protectors. The feline, the cat, is much more in the ethereal (antimatter) realm in its conscious field. That is why many past societies worshiped the Feline forms of Jaguar, Lion, Tiger and Puma.

These beings are extremely aware of thought forms of ethereal realms and offer a stealth strength and protection. The house cat is capable of tremendous protection for their caretakers from untoward thought forms and negative energies. Certain breeds of dogs have this ability as well, but it is expressed and enacted differently. ..."

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Scientists race to develop floating wind farms

Deutsche Welle, 23 January 2013

In order to take advantage of high wind speeds on the open seas, the race is on to create wind turbines and wind farms that float on the surface of the water. But, the jury is still out on which is the best method.

Erecting a wind turbine in the middle of the ocean is a costly and time-consuming business. Most importantly, the structure must be anchored at the bottom of the sea to ensure its stability in the face of extreme wind and rough seas. The project is normally only feasible up to depths of 50 meters of water.

But, a new generation of wind turbines no longer has that problem. Mounted on pontoons which are attached to the ocean floor by long steel cables, floating wind turbines are now the new trend in the renewable energy scene. First prototypes are already being tested.

A floating tower

The world's most advanced floating wind turbine has floated in the North Sea off Norway since 2009. It's called the Hywind turbine, and looks like a kind of giant, bottle-shaped buoy. The tower with the rotor blades at its tip rises high into the air, while the body of the turbine is settled deep in the ocean, weighed with cement ballast. This gives it the stability it needs to stay upright in heavy weather.

The "Hywind" floating wind turbine,
with its cement ballast
But it's not the only way of producing a floating wind turbine. The alternative to a floating buoy like Hywind, is a floating island. Windfloat, installed off the Portuguese coast in 2011, is a turbine mounted on a large triangular base, with three separate floating corner pontoons.

Sweden's Hexicon firm has ambitious plans. They want to design a pontoon that measures half a kilometer in length, scheduled to carry 24 turbines. It's a floating wind park complete with its own power station.

Safely moored

With all of the options, cables tether the installations to concrete blocks on the floor of the ocean. The companies involved say that the turbines can be based in waters that are up to 700 meters deep.

Frank Sandner, an engineer at the University of Stuttgart, says the technology has massive potential. "Many countries all over the world have steeply sloping coasts," he told DW. "Floating wind turbines are the only chance to utilize the wind energy out on the ocean."

An additional advantage of floating wind parks is the cost. The rotor blades are mounted on land, in a dry dock, before the installation is towed offshore. That means there is no need for costly construction work on the high seas.

There are, however, disadvantages. Like a ship, the floating turbines rock and heave on the waves. In principle, the solution to that problem is simple – make the device heavier so that it less susceptible to waves. That calls for an extremely large amount of material, Sandner says. "With the current cost of steel, that would be much too expensive."

Engineers are working on alternative solutions to get around the extra material costs. Intelligent systems that would pump ballast water from one tank to the next to stabilize the wind turbine or the option of tightening the cables that moor the structure to stabilize it in heavy seas.

No even keel

No matter what tricks engineers come up with - they will never succeed in stabilizing the floating turbines to an extent that they stand completely rigid and fixed. They will always rock.

"In the swell of the waves, the installations can easily tilt by up to 15 degrees," according to Andreas Heege, the director of Barcelona-based LMS Samtech, a company that produces specialized wind power software. He adds that today's generation of wind turbine rotor blades are not designed to function in those sort of conditions.

Windfloat is a three cornered pontoon island, that floats on the surface
of the sea

Exposed to constant motion, floating wind turbines experience much more wear and tear than fixed offshore facilities. The rocking motion also interferes with power generation. When the installation reels into the wind it is hit by significantly stronger winds than just a moment later, when it rocks back into the other direction. "The result is erratic power generation that we have to balance by carefully adjusting the rotor blades," Heege said.

One thing is clear. Mounting a regular wind turbine on a pontoon is not likely to function. Engineers will have to develop new, specialized rotor blades.

Economic feasibility at issue

Which of the two different concepts currently being tested – either the turbine weighted with ballast or the floating wind park island – will win the race is not yet settled. Both prototypes are doing quite well, Frank Sandner said. "Which concept is superior has not yet become apparent."

In both cases, the most important question is commercialization. That means, which is of the turbines can be produced reliably and at low cost. Experts say the structures would have to be more slender than at present, using much less material - which in turn would threaten stability.

It is akin to a tightrope act, said Andreas Heege: "To make the proposition profitable, we will have to push ourselves to our technological limits."